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Judge Ends DACA Program, Blocking New Applicants

A federal judge ended an Obama-era program that protected young people brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. The ruling halts new approvals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program. 

The judge sided with Texas and other states led by conservatives. The decision effectively prevents new applicants from being approved for DACA but keeps protections in place for the 650,0000 already in the program. 

The plaintiff states argued President Obama never had the authority to bypass Congress when he created the program by executive order in 2012. 

The decision is expected to complicate the Biden administration’s plans. Biden had vowed to keep DACA or a variant in place. 

Supporters of DACA have argued a permanent immigration reform plan is needed. 

DACA has now been around so long that some of its recipients are grandparents.

DACA has seen several legal challenges, including one from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as former President Donald Trump’s plan to phase out the act entirely.

State Rep. César Chávez, who came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant in his childhood, says the most recent ruling does not surprise him.

“It was an activation that we need to find a solution today, that we can no longer sit behind a desk and wait for the current, or any presidential administration to act,” said Chávez.

Chávez is also a member of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators and says the group is already reaching out to federal lawmakers to pass legislation through Congress.

For more on the ruling, The Show spoke with KJZZ's Michel Marizco, who is based in Tucson with the Fronteras Desk.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.